Plugging things into an electrical outlets is something we've known how to do since before we can remember. We don't even think about it; we just know it fires up whatever we're plugging in.
We also know electrical outlets carry electricity and must be treated with care. If you're repairing, installing or moving an electrical outlet in your home, it's a good idea to have a basic understanding of how one works and it's position within a given circuit in your home.
Today's electrical outlets come with two- or three-sockets (slots). We can recognize these sockets instantly from the outside face.
On the inside, electrical receptacles are either a side-wired type (you attach wires on the side using screws) or a back-wired type. Back-wired receptacles can be easier to work with as they allow you to simply push in wire ends instead of screwing them on.
Note, not all wall electrical outlets are the same, depending on their use. Most are standard receptacles (rated for 110, 115, 120 or 125 volts), while others are considered high-voltage; used for electric dryers and ranges.
Electrical Outlet Guides
- How to Install a GFCI Electrical Outlet
This special safety outlet can save your life. It's also required by code these days to be installed anywhere there is an electrical plug within so many feet of a water source. They are pretty easy to install, so get your kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas up to code and give yourself peace of mind.
- Install an Outdoor Power Outlet
Nothing is more handy when using electricity outside than having an electrical outlet outside. Learn how to choose a good location and the proper way to link in to an existing circuit in your home.
- What's the Best Surge Protector?
While you don't have to install anything with an electrical surge protector, it's important to know what you're getting for your needs. These helpful devices are not all created the same. Read through this guide to learn what the top features mean and why you probably want to pay more than you think for one of these.
- Lowering Your Electric Bill
Whatever you plug into your electrical outlets (and turn on) costs you money. But how do you find out what your electronic devices really use? Learn how to monitor usage - the knowledge you gain will save you money immediately.
- Electrical Outlets Not Working on One Wall
Having an entire room or wall without power is concerning. Not to worry, here are 6 ways to DIY this problem and get your outlets' power going again.
- GFCI Outlet Isn't Working
Here are some common and go-to electrician ways to troubleshoot and repair this specialized outlet should you find it's stopped working.
- How to Fix an Open Ground Outlet
Here's how to test and fix an outlet that isn't grounded correctly, in the safest way possible.